Neos events - proposal for a high-level concept

There are and will be events about Neos, some being bigger, some smaller, some with a high impact, some with a lower one, some rather regional and some international.

But who organizes these events? How “official” are they? Where and how do we communicate about them? What standards do we want to establish?

Types of events

As of today, we have the following event formats:

  • Neos Con
  • Meet Neos
  • Neos Barcamp
  • Neos Meetup

They greatly differ in size, purpose and frequency, but have two things in common:

  1. they are organized by members of the Neos Community (not by employees of the Neos Foundation)
  2. they are endorsed and supported by the Neos Project

How often should these events happen? How important is it that they take place?

  • Neos Con: there must be (at least) one Neos Con per year - it’s our flagship, everyone will be there!
  • Meet Neos: whenever there is enough demand in a city / region to showcase Neos to existing or prospective users, there should be a Meet Neos. If there’s not enough demand, that’s fine too.
  • Neos Barcamp: Not as regional as Neos Meetups, not as international as Neos Conference. There should be barcamps, but if there aren’t it’s not so critical as with the Neos Conference.
  • Neos Meetup: community members meet regularly with their regional peers - usually every month or every second month. Based on demand, depends a lot on the respective host.

Who, when, where?

Who decides where and when an event takes place? What if not enough people will show up? Who takes the financial risk? Who plays which role?

All Neos Con and Meet Neos events need to be coordinated with the Neos Team. Barcamps may be coordinated with the Neos Team and Neos Meetups possibly don’t need any coordination. No matter which event format, it always needs a host who organizes the event.

Neos Con

The Neos Team needs to actively look for a host for Neos Con and make sure that it actually takes place. Most of the work will we done and organized by the host, but the Neos Team will help with contacts, the schedule and further information.

Meet Neos

A potential host gets in touch with the Neos Team to check if organizing a Meet Neos in her city makes sense / is realistic. The Neos Team will provide all the information and criteria under which the host can organize a Meet Neos. The idea is to ensure a consistent concept and quality, and also give the host an assessment if organizing a Meet Neos is realistic for her company.

How is it determined if a Meet Neos takes place? The problem is, you don’t exactly know on beforehand if there will be enough participants. Cancelling an event is always bad, so … what if we just turn it around?

For Meet Neos we could follow the crowd-funding concept: a host proposes a Meet Neos, with a date and possible location. If x participants buy tickets until date y, the event will take place. If not, there simply wasn’t enough demand - no problem, everybody seems to know Neos here already :wink:

Neos Barcamp

Similar to Meet Neos - a potential host checks up with the Neos Team and then basically follows a certain overall concept.

Neos Meetup

A potential host should get in touch with one or more existing Neos Meetup host to discuss what it takes to start a new Neos Meetup. Once it is settled, the new Neos Meetup is communicated via www.neos.io and other Neos channels.

Continuous improvement

Each iteration Neos Conference and Meet Neos should update and extend existing documentation of the event format, check lists, plugins which might have been programmed and so on. The goal is to document the learnings of each event so that the next organizer can draw from them. We seek for continuous improvement rather than starting from scratch or just re-using unmodified materials from the last event.

Communication

The Neos Conference and Meet Neos events need a (micro) website of some sort. A barcamp may have special needs (to be discussed). Neos Meetups are simply listed on www.neos.io and have their own space on meetup.com.

Event websites

There are a few requirements and goals I have for the event websites (Neos Conference and Meet Neos):

  • the event should stand out (visually) , not just be listed in a big list of events. Rather a microsite than just another page
  • it must be easy for the event organizer (host) to manage all content of the event website and to modify / enhance the styling in order to support the conference’s key visual.
  • the community should be able to guess where they can find information about an upcoming event or one which already took place (e.g. via an events portal / list)
  • in mid-term it should be possible to connect a id.neos.io user account with one’s participation of an event, so we know who attended which event
  • in mid-term it should be possible to buy tickets via the event website (doesn’t have to be the same website technically, but should feel like it from the user’s point of view)
  • SEO
  • re-use and continuously improve functionality (for example a speaker list, conference schedule etc) for further events
  • tools for promoting the event (e.g. teasers on www.neos.io, blog posts which are dedicated to the event)
  • provide materials (links to slides, videos, news …) after the event happened
  • provide an archive of events which happened in the past

The holy cow of URLs

As for the highly emotional topic of world-wide-web addresses, we have several options. Personally, I prefer stable URLs, intuitive schemes and consistency. If there are technical SEO counter-arguments to my proposal, I’m definitely all-ears :wink:

How about this simple scheme:

https://www.neos.io/events - for an overview of all upcoming (and past) events
https://www.neos.io/events/meet-neos-hamburg-2016 - for a specific Meet Neos event
https://www.neos.io/events/meet-neos-hamburg-2016/talks
https://www.neos.io/events/meet-neos-hamburg-2016/speakers
https://www.neos.io/events/meet-neos Can be 1) a redirect to meet-neos-hamburg-2016 or 2) an overview of Meet Neos events

Much more to be said, but maybe this triggers some ideas for you already?

[Update: added a paragraph about the crowd-funding-style organization for Meet Neos]

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I like that, fully agree. Only… the URL scheme… I’d rather have …/meet-neos/hamburg-2016 than …/meet-neos-hamburg-2016.

Why? Because I’d go “one level up” to see an overview, and I still know what folders are. If that is useless knowledge by now, ignore me… :wink:

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It would be great if you guys could provide some best practice on how to market those events, especially the Meetups. There are some very successful ones and other Meetups that are not so successful. We e.g. in Munich have quite some problems gathering enough people when hosting the Meetups :frowning:
Maybe it’s just because there aren’t enough Neos people in that area (I think there are enough bug who knows) or we make mistakes when promoting it.

how about all those who organize Neos Meetups make an appointment for an online meeting and discuss what works for you and what doesn’t? Maybe you can establish some sort of exchange of ideas? And then post your findings in https://discuss.neos.io/c/community/events-meetups

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Hey @robert , thanks for writing this up, I’ve been thinking along the same lines!

Something I was pondering was: What should be “official” events by the Neos project? IMHO the Neos Con should definitely be an official event from the project and I was thinking about Meet Neos as well.

I really like the format of Meet Neos because it enables us to address a totally different market compared to our usually developer-centered audiences (e.g. on Twitter or Facebook). However, in my opinion, that would require Meet Neos to be adapted to the Neos brand. That in turn somewhat means to “take it away” from Sitegeist who have invented the format and have expanded it into Meet TYPO3 and possibly other versions too.

Neos DevCamp

This event was a kind of barcamp with the intended specific focus on developers. I think it could also be an official event we do every year. I see this in addition to any other Neos Barcamps that are organized by a host that is not the Neos project itself.

I just had a phone call with @lisa_sitegeist about the microsite / a first landing page which announces Neos Conference 2017. The plan is to create a shortcut “www.neos.io/conference” which redirects to the “current” / “upcoming” Neos Conference microsite.

The permanent URL for the event will be www.neos.io/events/neos-conference-hamburg-2017.html, an overview of Neos Conferences will later be at www.neos.io/events/neos-conference.html.

We aim to get this page online by next Tuesday (15th of November).

PS: If you (Neos Team) want to follow the preparation of the microsite, take a look at the “Neos Conference Microsite” workspace on www.neos.io

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